[…] the institute is right to champion "choice and initiative" and "to systematically advocate reforms which leave more room for individual choice and responsibility as well as personal, business, and institutional initiative." It’s the only way a free society can function, and the MEI is leading the way in Canada.
The current debate [on whether minimum wage laws are an appropriate tool for realizing income-security] was sparked by an economic note from the Montreal Economic Institute authored by Nathalie Elgrably on “The Minimum Wage and Labour Market Flexibility.” That report focused on the broad issues of labour market flexibility, job creation and income security. In it she questioned whether the minimum wage was the proper tool for ensuring sustained job creation and strengthened economic growth for low-income workers. She didn’t question the goals. Only the tools. Wherever one might stand on the issues of what economic levers are most appropriate to achieve social aims, it is irresponsible for those involved in public policy to reflexively resort to dogmatic denigration whenever a program is questioned. And that was what was most troubling in the near-concerted counter-attack by the champions of the “Quebec model” who painted the MEI, the report and its author as products of a retrograde right-wing and did not even have the intellectual rigour and integrity to address the fact that the report did call for sustained help for workers facing economic instability but merely questioned whether minimum wage hikes were the appropriate tool. This kind of knee-jerk reaction of the “progressistes” is, sadly, what passes for public discourse in Quebec on all issues today. It’s the statist model or nothing. […]
“When I addressed the Montreal Economic Institute in November, they assembled some of the top business and political leaders not just of Montreal, but of Canada. I was impressed by the range and authority of those they work with.”
“I have had the pleasure of being invited to a dinner organized by the Institute … a non-partisan study and research centre. I support the Institute’s work, especially in the health care field. [The speaker] raised a variety of topics, including the Chinese economy, the economic development theories of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and the influence that Milton Friedman had on his way of thinking.”
"The MEI, founded in 1999 and with a current annual budget of about $1.5-million, has emerged as the prime intellectual well for the Lucidistes and their ilk."
“…the Montreal Economic Institute…[is]…still a modest organization, with 10 employees and a budget of just over $1 million. Yet, on some issues, its influence has been disproportionate.”
“The Institute […] is a refreshing change from most Quebec outfits that usually contribute new and exotic ways of getting more of Albertans’ tax money to spend…”
“It’s a refreshing breeze for this institute to exist in Canada and to do the kind of work it is doing. I think, it makes a very important contribution to the public policy in Quebec.”
“The Montreal Economic Institute is Quebec’s leading voice in promoting free markets and sound economics.”
The Montreal Economic Institute is a powerful force for good in Canada. By bringing to Quebec policy debate a market-based perspective on issues ranging from school performance to free trade the Institute and its highly respected leader Michel Kelly-Gagnon are making a tremendous contribution to Canada’s future. The Fraser Institute has been pleased to collaborate with MEI and to learn from its research.